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Trust, Safety and Confidence: Building the Foundation for Online Interaction Cari L. Klecka University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Curriculum.

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Presentation on theme: "Trust, Safety and Confidence: Building the Foundation for Online Interaction Cari L. Klecka University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Curriculum."— Presentation transcript:

1 Trust, Safety and Confidence: Building the Foundation for Online Interaction Cari L. Klecka University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Curriculum and Instruction

2 Context: The Novice Teacher Support Project (NTSP) Cross-institutional partnership Multiple school districts Created by a Design Team Outreach activities Series of Saturday workshops Summer Institutes Mentoring Website

3 Conferencing areas include issue-based forums, informational conferences and grade level conversations.

4 Electronic conferencing Targets new teachers in primarily rural districts who lack access to teachers who teach similar content or at the same grade level (Klecka, Clift &Thomas, 2002). New and experienced teachers interact in an online, group context. Two to three face-to-face meetings yearly. Many participants do not share same teaching context. Participants are identified by last name online.

5 Site Statistics Year One & Year Two Year One-- volunteer participants 118 participants 41 novice teachers 73 e-mentors 256 messages posted from 10/00-04/01 45% posted during training Year Two-- volunteer and participants paid stipend 112 participants 82 novice teachers 40 e-mentors Over 3000 messages posted from 10/01-05/02

6 Site Statistics Year Three Year Three-- volunteer, e-mentors paid stipend 98 participants 50 novice teachers 48 e-mentors 1718 messages posted from 08/03- 04/18/03

7 The study What is the nature of participation in the e-conferences? Follow up to the pilot study Safety via technology (e.g. Carboni & Friel, 2000; Dewert, 1999; Merseth, 1990). Safety in the NTSP (Klecka, Clift &Thomas, 2002) What constitutes safety in this context?

8 Data collected focused on users’ experiences Four open-ended surveys Five focus group interviews Multiple new and experienced teacher groups Personal communications Meeting notes Personal journal entries from the perspective of the online moderator and one of the project developers

9 Preliminary findings: Conditions for participation Safety: actual and perceived Confidence in the environment Trust in people and in the medium Safety, trust, and confidence dependent on the degree of anonymity

10 Safety Context of safety Defined by policies and how those policies are enforced (policy to exclude administrators) State of the medium independent of what participants perceive Perceptions about safety Participants have the power to guard or violate Breaches in security: Violating the context of safety

11 Trust Dimensions of Trust Trust to complete a task (respond to messages/engage) Trust in (or inability to trust) online colleagues Implicit trust: expected participation based on personal experiences

12 Trust not established “Meeting other beginning teachers- that’s very nice, but actually over the computer with them… I can’t see them. I don’t know if I can trust them or not… it’s difficult to read people over the computer. But, when you’re in person, you can get a feel if you can trust… you can’t trust all teachers. You can’t trust all e- mentors… We don’t know what motivations they have… It’s very difficult to trust… any of the messages [on the e-conferences].”

13 Confidence Influenced by safety (perceived and objective state) Notification of breaches in security Nature of context can shape level of confidence within it Individuals can establish confidence based on who has access to the e-conferences. Administrators In-school colleagues

14 Self-identified anonymity: Confidence in safe space “I can go in my building to somebody, but I don’t want to show that I don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s really hard for me to do that… I think, I should know this answer. So, a lot of the time, I’m in misery. I try everything I can to not ask a question. This way [using the e-conferences] I’m more anonymous and I can get more ideas. I can just feel more confident doing that.”

15 Anonymity: Shaping safety, trust and confidence Safety in anonymity Anonymity lies on a continuum (Donath, 1999). From full to no anonymity NTSP: Asymmetrical How can safety be provided for those who do not see themselves as anonymous? Shared alias

16 Conclusions The degree to which participants feel safe, establish trust, and have confidence has an impact on the degree to which teachers participate- if at all. Preserving safety requires ongoing reflection and evaluation on our own actions and the decisions we make. Nonetheless, the degree to which the environment is safe is, on occasion, not even known by the online moderator herself. New teachers who have communicated an implicit trust participate not only by posting messages but through peripheral participation (significantly reading more than they post).

17 Thank you This paper is based upon work supported, in part, by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Partnership for Professional Development, the Illinois State Board of Education, and by the Department of Education (Grant No. P A). The government has certain rights in this material. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Education.


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